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Subaru staff go

Feeling blue: An unspecified number of jobs have gone.

Parent company problems lead to retrenchments for healthy Subaru Australia

General News logo18 Nov 2008

SUBARU Australia has retrenched an unspecified number of staff across several departments, including retail operations, as a result of the global downturn affecting its UK-based parent Inchcape plc.

Subaru Australia would not comment on the announced retrenchments beyond a prepared statement issued to GoAuto this week that said: “In light of slowing economic conditions in Australia, Inchcape Australia Limited has confirmed a number of retrenchments across all business units but will not be publicly releasing specific numbers.” Inchcape plc has dictated retrenchments across all Inchcape companies in Australia, which includes not only Subaru Australia but Inchcape Australia Limited, Inchcape Automotive Retail and AutoNexus.

Among the retail outlets Inchcape owns and operates is the flagship Docklands dealership in Melbourne, the largest Subaru dealership in the world when it opened in 2002.

Like many car companies, Subaru Australia suffered a significant sales decline last month. It was down 19 per cent for the month of October, although for the first 10 months of the year remains 1.5 per cent ahead of 2007 YTD.

The staff cutbacks have been applied to all of Inchcape’s concerns in its major markets, with the main reductions involving the UK businesses, where the new-car market witnessed a decline of 18.8 per cent in the three months to September 30.

Inchcape explained in its media statement that the retrenchments were a direct result of market conditions.

“With the events in financial markets across the world in recent weeks, consumer confidence has reduced substantially. As a consequence, trading conditions have deteriorated significantly in the UK and are weakening in a number of our other markets,” the company said.

“We expect current trading conditions to remain difficult for the rest of 2008 and throughout 2009. As a consequence, we expect our underlying results for 2008 to be below consensus and for 2009 to be significantly below our previous expectations.”

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